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BROTHERS retain the lead on the Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade table, albeit on nett points differential, despite this week being stripped of four competition points for inadvertently narrowly exceeding the maximum player points tally in two games early this season after recording an amazing 36-34 victory over Wests Panthers even though they had two players sent off in the 29th minute in their round 12 clash at Salter Oval on Sunday.

They now share the lead on 18 points with Isis Devils, who had the bye, while the Panthers are two points behind, together with Easts Magpies, who snapped a two-game losing streak, although they had to pull out all stops to pip Waves Tigers 32-28.

At Stafford Park on Saturday night, hosts Hervey Bay Seagulls recorded back-to-back wins for the first time in 2013 and consolidated fifth place, moving to 10 points with a 28-16 despatch of Wallaroos.

Brothers were outplaying Wests in all departments with classy five-eighth Lewis Williams adding extra dimension in his first match since last years grand final, and they were ahead 16-6 when explosive second rower Vahiti Hopoi and interchange dynamo Paulino Taufa were sent off but star Wests centre Josh Tanner was only sin-binned after an altercation.

Both sides scored again before the break, and in the second stanza, while Brothers were able to score some great tries, against 11 players, Wests repeatedly capitalized around the edges and they were expected to take full advantage, but the Panthers were never able to take the lead despite scoring two tries in the last 10 minutes and Brothers somehow held on for a famous victory.

In the end, goal kicking proved the difference, although high-class centres Mat Templeman and Shaun Collins each bagged doubles in heavyweight all-round performances for the Brethren, while Panthers centre Michael Wise cashed in with a hat-trick against his former club, and the blockbusting Joel Turaga came off the bench to also cross twice in a beaten side.

Easts looked in control when they led Waves 22-12 at oranges, but the never-say-die Tigers hit the front and the result went right down to the wire, however in the end, former Waves premiership halfback Josh Garden was a match winner with a hat-trick.

Outstanding young Waves fullback Nathan Jones also came to the fore with a double, but Easts greater experience ultimately got them home.

Wallaroos drew first blood in their match but the Seagulls forged to a 12-6 half-time advantage and scored the first three tries of the second stanza, including with ultra-promising flying winger Billy Stefaniuk completing a double, before Roos claimed two late consolation tries.

Brothers 36 (Mat Templeman 2, Shaun Collins 2, Peni Tuakalau, Matt Hall, Joel Keune tries; Josh Anderson 2, Nathan Moore 2 goals) d Wests 34 (Michael Wise 3, Joel Turaga 2, Tyrone Turaga, Joel Fagan tries; Brent Kuskey 2, Josh Tanner goals).

Easts 32 (Josh Garden 3, Brendan Pimm, Kurtis Booth, Josh Johnson tries; Zak Bainbridge 3, Robert Hughes goals) d Waves Tigers 28 (Nathan Jones 2, Dylan Cassidy, Nick Samra, Barry Kalepo tries; Robert McKeown 2, Brendon McKeown 2 goals).

Hervey Bay 28 (Billy Stefaniuk 2, Robin Harrison, Tyrone Hopgood, Sam Burns tries; Hopgood 4 goals) d Wallaroos 16 (Brad Wex, Luke Beatty, Dennis Sandow tries; Beatty 2 goals).
Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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